It was two minutes to midnight when a young woman fumbled to unlock the door to her now-ex’s apartment. She carried with her a bag in which she planned to collect her things, and she hoped to god that this wouldn’t be a whole ordeal. He was no stranger to violent outbursts and lived for mind games. He was consistently, inexplicably anywhere but his apartment after dark most nights, so she figured she could probably dodge him entirely. The lock clicked and she stepped through the doorway, but it was immediately evident that something was terribly wrong. A guttural, grinding voice was speaking some sort of incantation from inside the bedroom.
The woman approached the door tentatively, but nothing could’ve prepared her for what she would see when she opened it. Dozens of red and black candles were scattered across the floor and shelves and looked as if they had been burning for hours. The room reeked of incense, and an old book lay open on the bedside table. Her ex was laid out on the bed, nearly naked and speaking in tongues, and as she stepped through the doorway, he plunged a dagger into his own heart. He gasped and choked, making eye contact with her and smiling. Unable to process any of what she was seeing, she dropped the key to the floor and wheeled around, booking it out of the apartment. The ribbon barely holding her hair back came undone, falling to the floor, and she kept running, out the doors of the building and over to a nearby payphone.
Dialing emergency services, the woman struggled to choke down her tears to be able to talk coherently.
“Something terrible has happened,” she cried. “I don’t know what the fuck he was doing, but he killed himself!” She took a moment to catch her break before continuing.
“His name is Theo, he lives in the Plan 9 Apartment complex on Lang Street. Uh, apartment 7.” The operator explained that they would send someone out immediately and asked for her name.
“I... I’m just a neighbor, I heard something strange and the door was cracked.” She slammed the phone down onto the receiver. Her face was hot against the cool autumn air, so she paused to wipe the fog from her glasses before heading off to anywhere but there.
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